Possible Applications and Limitations of Wi-Fi Communications in IEC 61850 Systems

Authors: R. Persello, Fred Steinhauser, OMICRON electronics GmbH, Austria


As mentioned already simulation is important in any stage of SAS.  As explained the amount of simulation might decrease but there is a need at any stage. Starting with specification and during engineering means no real equipment is available. The approach allows to simulate any missing equipment. For the first step this means simulating everything.

Simulating the IEDs involved in communication makes it possible to check communication links, DataSet engineering and data models. Very often the local HMI (client) is not available while setting up the IEDs. Simulating this SCADA system delivers confidence that the IEDs are configured properly.

In the commissioning phase, IEDs might be not available and need to be simulated. Testing communication to higher level SCADA (control center, national control center) is an important step while putting into operation.

Those “bit-tests” are very time consuming and require the attention of the colleague in the control center.

Any problem occurring increases the probability that the test has to be stopped and repeated. Thus, simulation of client is very helpful to avoid frustrations like this.

On the other hand, once performed tests can be repeated easily and save time.


There are several possibilities extending this approach. Since analog injection is required at least once during the testing this has to be possible.

In modern digital substations, the real time capable hardware has to issue the signals as Sampled Values according to IEC 61850-9-2 and IEC 61869-9.

During the last decade protection, automation and control grow together, and there is no clear border between the different tasks. Modern testing approaches must consider this. Also, protection testing moves from single-device testing to system testing and solutions are available.

Such approaches must be used together and will deliver holistic testing procedure.


Automation and control functions become more and more important because of their wide application in modern substation automation systems.

Performing such tests automatically brings an enormous potential for cost saving and enhances the reliability of the grid. Testing solutions are available. 

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